It’s 5am in Paris and thirty eight degrees outside. My best friend and I are carrying forty pounds of luggage on our backs as we walk what seems like a never ending mile to the nearest metro station. Our flight does not depart until 9:15am, leaving us plenty of time to make the journey to the airport and check in, or so we thought. One disaster after another occurs on this cold morning in Paris. We reach the metro station and attempt to scan our tickets to enter, but they fail to work and the metro attendant will not allow us in. Using the little French we know, we attempt to explain to the metro attendant that our tickets are not working. He finally lets us in after ten very long and frustrating minutes. Once we are on the metro each car begins to fill with endless amounts of commuters who are making their way to work. By the time we reach the center of the city we are packed inside the metro like sardines, unable to lift our arms above our waist. We manage to make it to our metro stop and are now in search of the bus which takes us to the airport. Twenty minutes later we find the bus and board, only to find there is nowhere to sit. We stand the entire one hour journey to the airport and are relieved to finally arrive and get off the bus. But our nightmare journey is not over. We walk up and down the lobby of the airport, searching for our airline counter so we may check in for our flight. We very quickly realize that it is nowhere to be found. We stop the first airport employee we see and ask where to find our airline. She informs us that we have come to the wrong airport. There is no possible way we will make it to the correct airport in time to board our flight. My best friend and I look at each other and the only thing we can do is laugh.
I am a firm believer that laughter is the best cure in the worst of situations. Whenever things seem like they can not get any worse, laughing seems to make things better and remind us of life’s true joy.
Laughing produces a feeling of being internally rejuvenated or cleansed. Laughter provides an emotional release that we all need, a release that cannot come from anywhere else. Scientific studies have proven laughter reduces the level of stress within the body by increasing health enhancing hormones such as endorphins and neurotransmitters and reducing stress hormones like cortisol, epinephrine and dopamine. Doctors have recently begun to practice what they call Laughter or Humor Therapy. To benefit their patients, therapists use the positive emotions associated with laughter. Laughter really is the best cure in stressful situations.
Laughter also connects us with other people and makes relationships stronger. There is a special bonding that occurs when you have a good long laugh with someone. It sometimes seems unexplainable, but I am sure we have all experienced it. We have all been in the situation of laughing to the point of tears with a friend, family member or even a stranger. No one around us may understand what is so funny, but we do and that’s all that matters. Just looking at one another can make the uncontrollable laughter occur again.
Laughter gives us a feeling inside that nothing else can give us. No other form of therapy can cure us the way laugher does. Laughter is the human’s natural coping mechanism for stress and anxiety. Laughter is the best cure.
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